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October 23, 2013

Thelma Halberstadt roots relentlessly and religiously for Red Sox

NORTH ANDOVER — Residents on the same floor as Thelma Halberstadt at the Edgewood Retirement Community can easily find out how the Red Sox did in their most recent game.

All they have to do is look at the two little Wallys — as in Wally the Green Monster — perched on the small shelf next to her door. If the Wallys are sitting upright, the Sox have won.

If they’re lying face down, the Old Town Team has lost.

Halberstadt, 83, began her love affair with baseball deep in the heart of (perish the thought) Yankees country — but she was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan. Originally from Garden City on Long Island, she said she was thrilled when at 16, she was allowed to go to Ebbets Field on her own.

Then tragedy struck. Her beloved Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1957.

“I hated them. I thought my baseball life was over,” she said.

She soon recovered and found a new true baseball love: The Red Sox.

She and her husband, Louis Halberstadt, a chemical engineer who died a year and a half ago, moved to Massachusetts. It didn’t take long for her to embrace The Team, even during the 1950s and early ‘60s, when they weren’t doing very well.

Halberstadt and her husband were high school sweethearts and were married for 61 years.

She kept telling him she wanted season tickets for the Sox and finally got them in 1978. She’s had them ever since and when she goes to a game, “someone from the family goes with me,” she said.

She’ll be at Fenway Park today, accompanied by her son-in-law, Richard Reidy. She’ll be in Section 16, Row 2, the reserved seats behind the pitcher’s mound.

When does she expect the Sox to win the 2013 World Series?

“Game 6,” she said.

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